Rhodes: Greek air forces A plane that dropped water while diving crashed into a forest fire in southern Greece on Tuesday, killing both pilots, as authorities battled days-old blazes across the country amid a return of soaring temperatures.

Video from state TV ERT showed the CL-215 launching its cargo of water on the island of Evia before the tip of its wings apparently got stuck in a tree branch. Moments later, it disappeared into a deep crease in the ground, from which a fireball erupted.
The Air Force said the two pilots, aged 34 and 27, died in the crash. The plane does not have an ejection system.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis canceled a visit to Cyprus scheduled for Wednesday and called for three days of mourning for the Greek armed forces.
A third consecutive heatwave in Greece pushed temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) across parts of the country Tuesday amid a series of evacuations from fires that have been raging out of control for several days, due to strong winds.
It remains unclear how they got started, though dry conditions amid the summer heat mean that the slightest spark can lead to a rapidly spreading fire if not quickly put out. Many people have been arrested or fined across Greece in recent days for starting fires by mistake.
Summer fires have also hit other Mediterranean countries, killing at least 34 people in Algeria.
European Union officials have blamed climate change for the increased frequency and intensity of wildfires across the European continent, noting that 2022 was the second-worst year in terms of wildfire damage recorded after 2017.
a Greek A spokesman for the fire service said the worst of Tuesday’s fires were on the southeastern island of Rhodes and the northwest island of Corfu, both popular tourist destinations.
“On other fronts, we have to deal with many cases of flare-ups again,” said Ioannis Artobios.
Four villages in Rhodes were ordered to be evacuated on Tuesday as a fire raged for eight days inland, scorching mountain forest areas, including part of a nature reserve.
Five more evacuations were ordered on Corfu, and one overnight evacuation on Evia.
On Rhodes, desperate residents, many with wet towels around their necks to stave off the scorching heat, used hoes to fend off flames that approached their homes, while firefighting planes and helicopters resumed waterdrops at first light.
“For the 12th day, under extremely hot conditions and strong winds, we are fighting ceaselessly on dozens of forest fire fronts. Vassilis Kikilias, Minister for Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, said…
Authorities said more than 20,000 people took part in successive evacuations on the island, most of them tourists, over the weekend when fires swept through two coastal areas in the southeast of Rhodes.
Among them was Serbian basketball star Filip Petrosev, who played for the Philadelphia 76ers who was vacationing in Rhodes with partner Tiana. Somakovitch.
In a series of online posts, Somaković described frantic scenes as she and Petrosev escaped from the fire.
“The fire came so close that we had to run,” Somakovic wrote, commenting on videos of the fire. “We were choking on the smoke and ran as far as we could…at last we got to safety.”
Rhodes is very popular with northern tourists, who are expected to continue heading to the island this week.
Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet said two fully chartered flights were due to depart from Sweden on Wednesday. Tour operators said holidaymakers would head to resorts in the northern part of Rhodes, which has so far been unaffected.
The European Union sent 500 firefighters, 100 vehicles and seven aircraft from 10 member states, while Turkey, Israel, Egypt and other countries sent assistance.
Contributing countries included Italy, which was dealing with its own fires and severe weather indoors.
On the island of Sicily, Palermo International Airport is temporarily closed as flames from a wildfire close in. But in the northern Italian region of Lombardy, a powerful storm caused flooding and power outages and was blamed for the death of a 16-year-old girl at a scout camp.
In Turkey, authorities evacuated dozens of homes and a hospital as a precaution on Tuesday after a massive fire broke out in a rugged forested area near the Mediterranean resort of Kemer in Antalya province.
Another forest fire that broke out in the western province of Manisa, was brought under control a day after it reached a small village, burning at least 14 houses. All residents were evacuated, and no one was injured.
In Athens, authorities have resumed afternoon closing hours on the ancient Acropolis, as part of broader measures to deal with rising temperatures.


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